November 7th, 2007 14:27 EST
Global News: November 7, 2007
ALGIERS, Algeria. Algeria confirms that it means business with fighting home-grown terrorism. On Wednesday, a court sentenced to death 10 Islamic fundamentalists responsible for killing nine policemen in 2003. The verdict may not be enacted for many years, though, because all the suspects are on the run.
The former French colony has been a base to a number of terrorists for a long time. The authoritarian government had not reacted until terrorists began to attack Algerian military and governmental officials. Although the capital punishment has not been used for almost 15 years, courts recently sentenced over 100 people to death.
WASHINGTON, DC, USA. He may be America's greatest friend in France, after General Lafayette. President Nicolas Sarkozy has been in the United States for only two days, but has already managed to win the hearts and minds of the Washington establishment. His address to a joint meeting of Congress, delivered today, was interrupted by applause from the politicians of both parties. Sarkozy spoke on various topics, ranging from WWII to present problems in the Middle East. His listeners greeted his words with cheers on the mutual relations. “I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France,” said Sarkozy to an outburst of applause. The French president summed up his speech by saying that “our friendship and our alliance is strong.”
WASHINGTON, DC, USA. Rudy Giuliani, top Republican presidential candidate, received considerable support from Pat Robertson. Robertson, a popular evangelist and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition, said that Giuliani's mayorship of New York had proved that he is a strong leader, the one the country needs in the tumultuous time. The New York Times cites the evangelist as saying, “Rudy Giuliani took a city that was in decline and considered ungovernable and reduced its violent crime (...) and did so in the spirit of bipartisanship which is so urgently needed in Washington today.” The presidential hopeful was to express his gratitude for the endorsement saying, “His [Paterson's] confidence in me means a lot. His experience and advice will be a great asset to me and my campaign.”
Rudy Giuliani is perceived as the most liberal of all main GOP contenders. Some Christian groups have officially refused to vote for him, should he be elected the party candidate. With Robertson's support, however, Giuliani may be able to put himself in a better light, as a politician who cares about conservative values.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia. At a meeting of the United Malays National Organization today, the governmental authorities denounced the accusations of racism. In Malaysia, a multi-racial country with the Malaysian dominance over Chinese and Indians, racial tensions can spark a serious crisis. This time the accusations emerged after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and some of his party members appeared in traditional Malay costumes and kept ritual daggers. The country's national minorities perceived those gestures as defaming.
The prime minister defended the government and assured all the citizens that race was not an issue in Malaysia. Agence France-Presse quotes Badawi as saying, “Opportunities in Malaysia are available to all. There is a future for every Malaysian in this country.”
In the country of over 27 million people, over 60 percent of the population is Muslims. Other main religions are-- respectively-- Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism.
HELSINKI, Finland. An 18-year-old student has killed at least eight of his peers and injured 11 more in the southern city of Tuusula. One of the victims is the school's principal. Police officers who were conducting the investigation did not reveal whether the suspect was killed. In what resembled tragedies in the United States, an unsuspicious teenager entered a school of over 400 students and began to shoot at random. The Associated Press quotes one witness as saying, “I saw the gunman running with what appeared to be a small-caliber handgun in his hand through the doors.”
Unconfirmed reports suggest that several days ago the suspect posted a short movie on the Internet where a fictional character was killing his classmates.
Finland has one of the most liberal laws on gun ownership in Europe. However, like in other Scandinavian countries, it registers very few crimes where guns are used.
TIBILISI, Georgia. At first glance, it could have seemed as if today's pictures from the capital city were taken four years ago. The Rose Revolution – a movement of thousands of people that toppled the ruling communist apparatchiks – also began on the square in front of parliament where protesters erected a small city of tents to pressure politicians into changes. Then Mikhail Saakashvili, the educated in the U.S. leader of the democratic opposition, won the presidential election with a great majority. During the first days of November 2007, however, thousands of people gathered near the parliament not to celebrate the revolution's fourth anniversary, but to demand their former hero step down and call a new election. Today, the protesters were brutally dispersed by the metropolitan police.
Wednesday has been yet another day of massive protests against Saakashvili. People took to the streets, being disappointed with the four years of the incumbent president. The economy has regressed and dozens of political activists have been arrested under an order from Saakashvili.
TEHRAN, Iran. Iran may be one step closer to acquiring nuclear technology. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad said today that his country “have now reached 3,000 machines,” meaning uranium-enriching centrifuges. Although it wasn't the first time that the controversial Iranian president boasted about the advancement of his country's nuclear program, many experts agree that today's speech could have been based on facts.
To construct one nuclear warhead, Iran would need only half of the centrifuges. In his speech, Ahmedinejad also said that “the world must know that this nation will not give up one iota of its nuclear rights.” This news may worry Israel and the United States, the two countries which perceive Iran as the main threat to the world peace.